New York City is a big place, and it can teach you a whole lot about life and people. You can learn how little it takes for people to work and function as a normal part of society. It can teach you how it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can succeed with the right attitude. But most of all, NYC demonstrates that no matter how large or small your living arrangement, people find a way to make it work. And true enough – it is no easy task to find a good apartment in the Big Apple. There are countless factors to consider and look into. But take it from an experienced NYC moving company that has been here for a while – you can always find a cheap NYC apartment if you are ready to work hard on it. And here’s insight into what it takes.
Winter is never a good time to search for cheap NYC apartments
Just like with anything else, there is a good and bad time to do certain things. Same rule applies to apartment hunting in NYC. Winter is generally a bad period to go looking for places or planning a professional residential relocation. The fact of the matter is that most apartments in large cities get rented out during autumn and spring. The weather conditions are good, the school year begins/ends, people look to make changes etc.
So if you are in a hurry to find a new apartment as soon as possible, don’t expect any great deals coming your way. But if you don’t mind delaying your local relocation or NYC move-in, we would warmly advise waiting for winter to pass over.
Start looking for cheap NYC apartments well in advance
Unless you have a leprechaun stashed away somewhere, finding a good apartment will take some time. So you should plan out to start your search several months in advance. Basically, how early you start can determine the difference in size and location of your apartment. And the last thing you want is renting a one-bedroom condo on the outskirts of NYC.
New York is New York, right? Wrong. Not all boroughs of New York will suite your personal needs for a new home. So before you even start packing those boxes, make sure to secure a cheap NYC apartment in the best neighborhood. You should consider using some of the following websites to get you start on your search:
Define what a cheap NYC apartment is for your personal budget
Not everyone has the same definition of cheap. So do some budget calculation to give you a general idea of what it is you can afford in terms of accommodation. New York is not really known for being a cheap metropolis, but that does not mean living there can’t be affordable. And yes, there is a difference between cheap and affordable. If you’re lost as to how best to calculate your budget, consult one of the many Cost-of-living website available to you. Pay attention to criteria such as:
- Rent and utilities
- Parking space and storage options
And when you gather the final tally on all these expenses, it’s just a matter of fitting them inside your budget.
Consider the possibility of a roommate
It will most likely happen that you will find an ideal apartment – spacious, well-positioned, cozy… but a bit over your budget limit. So why not consider finding someone to share the expenses and apartment with? It could be a friend, partner, co-worker or even a stranger if you’re feeling adventurous. Think about it. It’s a mutually beneficial deal – you split all expenses in half, help each other out and everything is as it should be. The only important thing is to find someone you can live with – seems simple enough but is actually much harder than you would think.
Learn to negotiate terms with landlords
Sometimes you find more expensive living arrangements but then can lower the prices down to what you would call cheap NYC apartment prices. So do your research and once you find a place, consider the angles you could use to your advantage:
- Offer to move in early. You might be able to score some points with your landlord by offering to move in on the 20th of the month rather than the 1st of the next one. It shows you’re serious about renting the apartment. And it puts a little extra cash in the landlord’s pocket and no one will complain about that. So you will have a bargaining favor for the future.
- Throw in a little elbow grease. Sharing the cost of certain repairs with the landlord can deduct the cost from the rent. Taking care of the property itself (painting, recycling, snow-shoveling, vacuuming the hallway) is also a good idea to leave a good impression. And of course, this can get you a reduction on the rent, especially in smaller buildings.
Turn to professional brokers for help
If you have the cash but are in a loss for time, you might want to hire a professional broker to find you a cheap NYC apartment. You will often find the request for a broker so sign off on a certain apartment, but this does not make it necessary to have one. Before all else, you should know that NYC broker fees can run up 17% of the annual rent. So this option is only to be used if you have extra cash lying around. Otherwise, doing the work by yourself is unavoidable.
Make sure to do a detailed inspection of any cheap NYC apartment you find
You would be amazed and shocked at what people are renting out nowadays. Everyone sees a profit to be made and are counting that people are desperate enough to rent anything. You need to be on the lookout for such scams and remember that there are always choices to be made. So when you go to check out certain apartments, make sure to investigate every inch of the place:
- Water pressure
- Heating situation
- Phone and Internet signal
- Possibility of storage and parking space
- Potential mold and mildew
- The neighbors
Once you do find an ideal place, don’t waste time and schedule a viewing as soon as possible. You are never the only one looking for a cheap NYC apartment. Timing and determination will make the difference between you finding a place and continuing with your search.